'On-call' firefighters needed in Lancashire

A recruitment campaign is being launched for on-call firefighters
A recruitment campaign is being launched for on-call firefighters
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A recruitment campaign is being launched next month by Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service to take on more "on-call" firefighters.

The Service said that Lancashire has one of the best on-call services in the country, with 30 fire stations crewed in part or entirely by on-call firefighters.

The campaign comes as it emerged that a small fire in a Clitheroe flat at the weekend was attended by fire crews from neighbouring Great Harwood and Hyndburn as there were no local crews available.

The fire, which started on a kitchen hob, was called in at 4-42pm on Saturday with a crew arriving at the scene at 4-58pm.

A spokesman for the fire service said: "It is true that on-call firefighters are not always able to fully crew a fire engine as they may have other commitments (on-call firefighters may have primary employment and respond to incidents via a pager from their home or work five to seven minutes from their home or work).

"It is standard practice when this occurs for the area in question to be covered by neighbouring wholetime fire stations, and in some cases other on-call stations like in the incident on Saturday. Or we provide cover to the on-call station to increase numbers if necessary. We don’t have an overtime policy to bring a fire engine back on the run.

"The contribution of on-call firefighters (and the support of their employers), particularly in Lancashire's rural areas and small towns, is absolutely invaluable in enabling the Service to respond quickly to emergencies and keep people safe.

"We need more on-call firefighters, so there are greater numbers to draw on, and are always working to strengthen the service and recruit people who want to make a difference in their community.

"On-call firefighting fits around work and family commitments and you have to be able to get to the fire station within five to seven minutes."

If anyone lives or works in the area and is interested in making a difference in their community, they can visit www.lancsfirerescue.org.uk for more information.